Lamar RE-2 School Board Meeting of April 8, 2024

The Lamar School Board met for its regular monthly meeting on April 8.  All members of the Board were present for the meeting with two attending by phone.  The Board approved minutes of the last meetings.  There were no visitors wishing to speak to the Board.

Superintendent Chad Krug gave an update on the scoreboard for the new stadium.  The original scoreboard design had been previously discussed with upgrades to it being added.  Specifically, the design has been simplified a bit for aesthetics and spaces for ad panels have been added.  It is estimated that the ads should generate approximately $330,000 in revenue. The Board also discussed adding play clocks to the field while it is being constructed to save costs down the road to install them later, specifically the need to tear up the turf to run electrical lines. Total estimated cost for the complete scoreboard package is now at $412,276.

Heather Whisenand, Parkview School Counselor, spoke to the Board about the recent career fair held on March 6th at the school.  She said it was a big success, with 19 presenters attending.  Students were able to learn about careers in cosmetology, food service, veterinary medicine, public works, Forest Service and wildlife rescue, hospice care, construction, law enforcement and more. Stations were set up both indoors and outdoors, with law enforcement and fire vehicles displayed outside.  A highlight for the students was the Port of Entry’s scale which was brought to the school.  A contest was held for the students to guess the combined weight of the student body, which they discovered was 20,200 pounds.  Students were able to research careers they had interest in on Xello and completed a survey for the school afterwards, detailing which presentations were their favorites and were able to submit ideas for future presentations.  The following day, the 5th graders took a field trip to LCC and participated in a scavenger hunt around campus while learning more about careers including nursing, welding, and cosmetology and got to look at the dorms and the tutoring lab.  Ms. Whisenand said the favorite part the students reported was being able to eat lunch on campus and receive some LCC “swag”.

Rachel Dunning, Superintendent for Lamar’s Lincoln Education Alternative Plan (LEAP), gave an update on numbers of students served by the program and explained in depth how the program helps non-traditional students obtain their degrees, become empowered through education, and hopefully go on to a brighter future and feel successful.  She outlined for them what a non-traditional student looks like, listing examples of teen mothers, students who need social and emotional support for issues such as bullying or language barriers, and students who were dealing with family violence or economic hardships.  She thanked the district for their support of the program, saying it was “so very gratifying” and that she was blessed to be a part of it.  In return, board members thanked her and her staff for doing an amazing job, saying they were happy to support the program.

Approved were travel study trip requests as follows:  LHS Band and Noteables to Elitch Gardens on May 4; LMS students to Colorado Springs for “Girls on the Run” on May 11; LHS Yearbook student to Coronado High School on May 11; DECA students to an international conference April 26-May 1; LMS 6th graders to the Pueblo Zoo on May 13 and LHS FFA students to career development events in Ft. Collins April 28-29.

Resignations for 4 teachers and a paraprofessional were approved as well as approving retirement of another paraprofessional.  Hiring of a paraprofessional, an assistant LMS Baseball Coach and 4 teachers were also approved.

Dr. Krug gave a stadium update, saying site work was temporarily halted due to a delay by the State in approving permits, but assured the Board that other behind-the-scene work is actively in progress and doesn’t feel the delay will affect the projected completion date as of now.  He mentioned the district wanting to possibly add new course offerings and invited the 3 Student Board Members into the discussion, all of whom had excellent suggestions.  They spoke about DECA and how participation in the club was one of the biggest ways students could learn “life skills” versus traditional course work.  They all remarked that the competitiveness of DECA is what makes it work and felt that students learned to problem-solve and express ideas while working on skills and how it motives them to learn more.  They also urged the Board to consider resurrecting the FBLA program at the school to help with this as well.  Dr. Krug thanked them for their input and great ideas, which was accompanied by nods of agreement from all board members.

The meeting was then adjourned.  The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 13 at 5:30 PM.

By Barbara Crimond

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